Sydney Shell Collectors Club Inc Code of Ethics


The Sydney Shell Collectors Club Inc's Code of Ethics:

We consider the preservation and conservation of the fauna of Australasia as our most important goal. In keeping with this goal, we have established a code of ethics to guide our members in their collecting pursuits.

1. Cause minimum disturbance to habitats.

Habitat destruction is the most potent threat to molluscs (and other biota). Although other factors (e.g. pollution and land clearing) cause habitat destruction on a large scale, collectors can have significant impacts on local areas if they do not observe some simple rules:-

  • Always carefully replace any log, rock, coral boulder etcetera, immediately after inspecting the underside for molluscs.

  • Try to disturb as few habitats (e.g. boulders, vegetation) as possible because the simple act of lifting a rock or log may destroy animals.

  • Always observe the laws regulating access to sites (e.g. reserves and parks).

These rules have been established to protect habitats and their constituent communities.

2. Collect the minimum number of specimens necessary

Indiscriminate collecting can have devastating effects on local populations of molluscs. In keeping with this, the members should:-

  • Abide by local, national and international laws governing species and habitats at all times.

  • Never collect more specimens that are strictly required for study and if possible collect empty shells.

  • Never collect individuals that are involved in reproductive behaviour (e.g. egg guarding, breeding aggregations).

  • Try to avoid the collection of juveniles or living individuals with damaged shells. In the first case, these have yet to breed and in the second case, damaged shells if left alive can add to the pool of animals available for reproducing but are usually of little value to collectors.

  • Photography should be considered as an alternative wherever possible (especially for larger species).